2023: UN Sues for Women Participation, Seek Actions on Inclusiveness

By our Correspondent

Against the backdrop of the 2023 general elections, the United Nations (UN) has decried the low level of women participation in the elections as unacceptable, and needed to be urgently addressed to deepen democracy and national development.

Notably, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, said this in Abuja, at a workshop on ‘Promoting Women’s Political Participation in Nigeria’ organised by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), UN Women, Government of Canada and Federal Government of Nigeria.

She expressed the view that Nigeria is one of the lowest countries in women representation across the globe despite their contribution and numerical strength.

Continuing, Ms. Eyong, represented at the event by the UN Programme Special, Desmond Osalobo Osemehenjie, said women’s participation in politics in Nigeria is appalling, unsatisfactory, and unacceptable.
Hence much more needs to be done to encourage women’s inclusiveness and participation in politics.

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In this regard, she said, “Comparing Nigeria with other African countries, Nigeria is just 4.1 percent in the parliament as we speak, while in other countries like Rwanda is 67 percent, and Senegal is about 57 percent.

In her words, “If you look at the African sub region, Nigeria is one of the lowest countries as far as representation on the parliament is concerned. Nigeria is just 4.1 percent in the parliament, as we speak, while in other countries like Rwanda is 67 percent, Senegal is sending about 57 percent,” she said.

Ms. Eyong listed political education of African women, which she said is very new, and which was why women have not over the years been able to get their feet in political education in Nigeria.

Responding on the possible way forward, Eyong said the UN has been doing a lot of advocacy and awareness creation and capacity building for women.

Hence, she said, “We support the media, we also support the political parties, building the capacity of women, and ensuring that women are able to compete effectively. We have also in one way or the other, provide a kind of both internal and external training to women, where they go outside to learn from other nations where they have been able to advance.

She said further, “We make representation that will also support them. We are training the young women known as a Young Women Academy, where if in future we want the young women that are interested in governance, to be able to jump into political parties and be able to change the narrative.”

Additionally, the President of Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Mrs. Ebere Ifendu, stressed the importance of ensuring greater participation of women in politics.

She explained that participation of women has proven to be a catalyst for development in other parts of the world, thus Nigeria cannot afford to miss the opportunity.

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